NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 29 – Kenya is set to host the High-Level China-Africa Media Cooperation Forum 2020, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
The forum will be held in mid-November in the capital Nairobi, co-hosted by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and the Media Council of Kenya.
Officials said the forum, that will bring together top media executives from across Africa and China, industry stakeholders and government officials from the Ministry of Information Communications and Technology (ICT), will seek to assess the strides made by the media towards building a knowledge society in Africa and China.
The forum themed “China-Africa Media Cooperation in the Digital Era” is aimed at promoting China-Africa cooperation in the media sector by providing an opportunity for experience sharing, exploring models for long-term cooperation, providing technical support and capacity building in digitization of electronic media.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The FOCAC Summit takes place every 3 year and Johannesburg hosted the Summit in Africa in 2015 and Beijing in 2018.
Under FOCAC action plan, the forum is aimed at promoting China-Africa cooperation in the field of media, including setting up a China-Africa media network, explore models for long-term cooperation, provide technical support and capacity building especially for the digitization of radio and TV.
FOCAC also mandated China to hold training and capacity building seminars for African countries’ media officials and journalists, provide technical support and personnel training for the digitization of radio and TV and the development of the industry in Africa and explore models for long-term cooperation, continue to participate in film and TV festivals and exhibitions held by the other side, and encourage joint production of documentaries, films and TV programs.
The forum will also focus on the impact of digitization on journalistic practice and regulatory issues in the media industry and how this has been navigated to improve media contribution in national development and improving professionalism in content creation.
Government records show that Kenya has close to 200 radio stations, 92 Television stations, 100 print and online publications.
The country has a very high internet and mobile phone penetration that are very ideal for digital media.
“The forum comes at no better time, as it will provide the opportunity to look at how media, is remodeling its viability plans in the face of challenges in revenue streams, safety of staff and coping in the COVID-19 era,” said Victor Bwire, Media Council’s Head of Programs.
Top media executives are expected to outline insightful presentations and panel sessions covering the impact of technology on media practice, shift in production and distribution of content in the digital era, professional ethics among others.
“The forum will provide stakeholders with an opportunity to assess how the industry is repositioning itself in the converged newsgathering and production environment and how they can leverage of new normal to create the much-needed knowledge economy,” Bwire said.